My husband and I recently watched 127 Hours, the movie about a hiker stuck in a canyon for the aforementioned amount of time. After learning about the movie’s gruesome conclusion from James Franco’s Today Show interview, I braced myself for the inevitable arm removal scene from the opening credits. Before resorting to dismemberment, the hiker documents his trials on a video journal, has trippy childhood flashbacks and relies on his base instincts to survive. I sipped wine as we viewed the film but apparently not enough to appreciate the artistry behind the nausea factor.
Last week after a trip to Chapel Hill, I recalled images from the movie while in total gridlock on I-85 South in between Greensboro and Charlotte. The traffic jam lasted long enough to inspire fear that I would live out the rest of my life stuck on the highway. After calling my husband, mom and sister, I resisted sharing my predicament with friends to preserve my final two bars of cell phone battery life. My sister called highway patrol to find out the traffic prognosis, but they were likely dealing with more pressing issues and did not answer. Just as I considered finding an escape route via the breakdown lane, we slowly began to inch forward. I got off the highway at the next exit to relieve my claustrophobia, and found a police officer to confirm the road ahead was free of obstructions.
I was only stuck on the highway for about an hour and a half, so will never know if I could conjure up the survival skills learned at my 7th grade wilderness camp. I had only just finished my supersize fountain Diet Dr. Pepper when the traffic started moving again, and snacked on some tasty chicken salad from A Southern Season. I wasn’t exactly roughing it, but learned a valuable lesson that even a route I’ve driven hundreds of times can turn into an adventure.